Arsenal striker Joel Campbell has revealed his astonishment at Santi Cazorla’s ambidextrous technique, and is hoping to pick up a few tips from his teammate as he battles for first-team minutes.
Having joined the Gunners from local side Saprissa in August 2011, the Costa Rican international is getting his first proper taste of life at the Emirates, following three consecutive seasons spent out on loan at Lorient, Real Betis and Olympiakos, respectively.
He’s seen just 16 minutes of Premier League action so far, but Campbell is adamant that, with the likes of Cazorla providing the service, he can lead the line for Arsene Wenger’s side when called upon.
‘Arsène Wenger has many good options to line up a great attacking force,’ he told arsenal.com.
‘I must say that Santi Cazorla has some exceptional technical skills. He can take corners or free-kicks equally with his right or left foot. That’s some technique! That is a very unusual thing to see and it has left me astonished.
‘I presume that every attacking player in the squad will fight with me for a starting place. But I am my biggest competitor - I have to train hard and get better day after day. Being here is a great opportunity for me.
‘I feel that I can contribute with speed, goals and dribbling skills. I am a player capable of playing either on the right or left flanks or in the middle.
‘It’s down to the manager to decide which of those three positions I am needed most in. I just have to do my best anywhere I play.’
After impressing at the World Cup with Los Ticos this summer, Campbell was expected to carve out a first-team role for himself in North London during pre-season, but rumours have continues to circulate around his future at the club in the months following the tournament.
The recent £16 million arrival of Danny Welbeck leaves the 22-year-old with another obstacle to overcome in his fight for a place in Wenger’s lineup, and time might well be running out for him to prove his credentials to the Frenchman.